Elise Stefanik Makes Case that Don Jr and Eric Trump Must Resign from Trump Organization

The first of today’s two impeachment hearings just finished up. While Adam Schiff and Dan Goldman remained sharp, Steve Castor remained lackadaisical, and Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan remained disgusting, much of the rest of the committee, on both sides, seemed less engaged than in last week’s hearings. Bizarrely, Republicans spent much of the hearing asking witnesses Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams — both of whom were direct witnesses to the call to which Republicans want to limit the impeachment inquiry — to provide hearsay testimony about Burisma and Hunter Biden.

The highlight of the hearing came when Vindman, who had been smeared with questionable loyalties leading up and during the hearing, explained that he told his father not to worry about him testifying because, “This is the country I’ve served and defended. That all of my brothers have served. And here, right matters.”

Because of her stunt in last Friday’s hearing, I’m interested in what Elise Stefanik did.

First, she got demoted. Her male colleagues treated her like the junior committee member she is, rather than giving her top billing. That, by itself, made it clear she was used last week as a token.

When it finally came around to her turn three and a half hours into the hearing, she then focused on talking points she has adopted — that under Trump (in part forced by Congress) Ukraine has gotten assistance and continued to work on corruption, no investigation into Joe Biden got started, and the aid ultimately got released.

But as part of that, she walked Vindman through an attack on Burisma, first misquoting him saying that in Ukraine, generally, tax evasion and money laundering are a problem, to apply that to Burisma. She then said,

I know that my constituents in NY-21 have many concerns about the fact that Hunter Biden, the son of the Vice President, sat on the board of a corrupt company like Burisma.

It’s a wonderful sentiment, really, that Congress should dictate what the family members of top officials should do to make money.

But since she has expressed this concern, I assume she feels the same about two other children who occupy top positions in a company with a documented history of facilitating money laundering and credible allegations of tax evasion, particularly given that her own state, New York State, found that these children, Don Jr and Eric Trump, as well as their sister, must be barred from running any charities in the state.

Since Elise Stefanik has stated, in front of the nation, that the children of top government officials must not have leadership positions in corrupt companies with money laundering and tax evasion problems, surely she’ll call for the President’s sons to step down from the family business?

38 replies
  1. timbo says:

    Thanks for pointing out the possibly hypocrisies here. It is, of course, a little more complicated than this but certainly she should be working for the best interest of her constituents in New York state when it comes to holding wrong-doers fully culpable for their actions. And certainly the Trump “charities” appear to have been used as personal piggy-banks by all the Trumps involved. And that is indeed an issue for her New York constituents should be taking a keen interest in.

  2. Rugger9 says:

    One wonders whether one of the Congresscritters will point that out in the next rounds when Stefanik tries it again: that the Trump Foundation got shuttered for fraud. What a hanging curve ball….

    • timbo says:

      If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s still possible. The DP members need to coordinate their responses much better than what we’ve evidenced so far.

  3. The Hang Nail says:

    Is there a comprehensive list of politicians and their relatives that sit on corporate boards? If there is anything positive we can get from this hearing is that this is a worthy phenomenon to investigate. No doubt, it would highlight the appearance of corruption in both parties. I would also like to see some more analysis by our media on what people actually do when they sit on a board and make salaries that are higher than the median income. How many hours a year does it entail? What risks are involved? How does one get on a board? Do boards hire members based on “connections” or expertise? What do connections have to offer a board? Does anyone know of any good non-partisan analysis of these issues?

    • timbo says:

      Indeed. It would be fascinating to see which Senators have family members on the boards of foreign corporations… and I thank Trump for bring that problem to the attention of the US public? I mean, this is the “Legacy Express” we’re witnessing here… and I’m sure that sooo many Senators want the President looking into their own families foreign corporate connections… Mitch.

    • Fran of the North says:

      Others can comment on whether any comprehensive lists are available on board seats occupied by the politically connected.

      In many instances, board members are chosen for their expertise and they provide counsel and guidance to the leadership of the company. That guidance can be vital for companies whose executives my not have the same breadth of experience as the board.

      Often, those board members are already highly compensated in their ‘day jobs’, and the monies involved for the board position, while considered high by the common citizen, aren’t material.

      A good board is a very valuable thing. Unfortunately there are instances where board members are selected less on merit and more for connections and the visibility and stamp of approval they provide.

      A great example is the board of the recently defunct biotechnology and device maker Theranos. It included 2 former secretaries of state (including Henry Kissinger), 2 senators, a former secretary of defense, a retired admiral and general, and a couple of business leaders. Unfortunately, most if not all were not qualified to be overseeing the business of a hot technology startup in the medical device world. https://fortune.com/2015/10/15/theranos-board-leadership/

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        If you’re talking about seats on the boards of large for-profit companies, it is true that many board members are already wealthy. But I think you understate the relevance of the compensation tied to those seats. It is less than what they are paid for the day jobs, but remains considerable, in cash, in opportunities for company stock, and as a marketing tool for the board member. The compensation is high compared to the time demanded and work performed.

        Expertise for board members is often considerable. But they are also chosen for their willingness to cooperate with the sitting CEO. Her first job is to create a board in her image, so that she gets what she wants, including high compensation. CEOs normally consider their company well-run because they are running it.

        In the case of Theranos, the CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, built a board of famous, powerful people as a marketing tool and as a shield from outside inquiry – including the board’s. That those board members were already busy, if not over-committed, was a feature, not a bug. She was running a con, not a company.

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          She was running a con, not a company.

          Then she has something in common w/ Trump, no?

          He’s running a con, not a country…

  4. Peterr says:

    In the same vein as Stefanik . . . how to put it? . . . speaks against her own interests here, so did Jim Jordan.

    Somewhere, there is a prosecutor in Ohio who watched Jordan express shock that Vindeman didn’t report his concerns properly, and just shook his or her head. Then that prosecutor put Jordan’s words into a word processor, swapped out “President Trump” with “Dr. Richard Strauss,” and “Ukraine’s president” with “OSU wrestling team members” and “Burisma” with “sexual abuse.”

    Wonder of wonders, the opening statement at someone’s trial is damn near written.

  5. Rugger9 says:

    OT but totally chickens$%t: It appears that the Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tried to float the idea that the Obama administration left nasty notes for the Palace. Once proof started coming about regarding the lie she walked it back with the standard no-pology typical of GOP types. Those of us with long memories will also recall the great “W” scandal where the Clintonistas allegedly removed the letter W from all of the keyboards which of course fell apart. Seriously, why did it take the Palace almost three years to make this discovery? It’s almost as if they are out of ideas to distract away from the testimony this week.

  6. dadidoc1 says:

    Maybe OT, but if the Trump children and Trump himself used the Trump charity as a personal piggy bank and failed to pay taxes on those funds, would that be considered tax fraud?

  7. Glacier says:

    The people tossing mud and attacking are getting trapped in their stupidity, from all the trumps to elsie to jimbo jordan — give them more rope and let them all hang together!

    ==> Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s

    Report: Jim Jordan Accused of Ignoring Sexual Abuse at Ohio State

    Posted Jul 3, 2018 11:17 AM

    DiSabato said Jordan was a “liar” for saying he did not know about abuse and said the congressman asked him to “please leave me out of it” when DiSabato told him he wanted to go public with his allegations last year.

    “I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” he said. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

    “For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s and Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him,” he said.

    Another teammate who was not identified said he never told Jordan about the abuse, but said the congressman had to have known about Strauss.

    “I love Jimmy to death,” he said. “It was a head-scratcher to me why he would say he didn’t know anything. Doc used to take showers with the team even though he didn’t do any workouts, and everybody used to snicker about how you go into his office for a sore shoulder and he tells you to take your pants down.”

    Jordan told The Columbus Dispatch earlier this year when the allegations first surfaced that “no one reported any type of abuse” to him when he was assistant coach from 1986 to 1994.

    Jordan’s colleagues in the House expressed concern over the allegations — but were cautious not to jump to conclusions.


  8. klynn says:

    Sorry. This is a little OT.

    Family watching the hearing with Morrison and Volker.

    16 y-o son: Must be really hard to be blind and giving testimony in such a crowded room for Morrison:

    me: Blind? Why do you think he is blind?

    16 y-o son: Like my friend in Buddy Club at school who is blind, Morrison looks up at the ceiling and down to his side. I do no see eye contact with those speaking.

    Me: He is not blind.

    16 y-o: Ooooooh. So, he’s being untruthful.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah, he almost never made eye contact. He knows this was dead wrong, and got out accordingly, but wants to save his career. Same with Volker.


      • klynn says:

        Yep. Here’s the thing, a 16 year old Ohio boy picked up on their failure to speak truth to power, pretty sure lots of people saw this.

        Volker cannot lack THAT much savvy. He knew the investigation reference was Biden.

        • klynn says:

          16 year old observed that, “Volker is tying himself up in verbal knots to create a safe narrative. To be blunt, lying.”

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Regarding Trump’s surprise visit to Walter Reed Saturday afternoon, I see that he and Melania are so close that she stayed at the WH, while he set off in a motorcade to the hospital.

    Trump tried to joke about her supposed concern, when he supposedly came home, “Darling, are you OK? … They are reporting you may have had a heart attack.” Trump’s response was the usual WH schtick: no problemo, the press made it all up.

    Trump framed the supposed conversation – he makes stuff up all the time – to attack the press for wanting to practice journalism. As if it’s not their business why an obese 73 year-old fast food eating couch potato insomniac with the nuclear codes made a surprise visit to the hospital.


  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Another gooooooal! for Vladimir Putin. South Korea signed a defense pact with China after Trump’s negotiators walk out of talks. Using a standard, if insulting, negotiation tactic, team Trump walked out to give the South Koreans time to “reconsider their position.” They did.

    Trump is dismantling American government and foreign policy as rapidly as if he were a private equity partner in charge of Putin’s portfolio.


    • P J Evans says:

      And another demonstration that Trmp couldn’t negotiate his way through a wet Kleenex, even with a map, a lantern, and a hatchet.

    • Eureka says:

      It’s accumulating stuff like this that seems like a dagger through the heart of hope that America can recover her alliances or places of security in the world. <– That's what Putin wants, so will add that while it might be difficult, we are up to the challenge.

    • TooLoose LeTruck says:

      Well… call me gob-smacked…

      Another win for Putin, indeed…

      And China, too… don’t forget them… this serves the China’s purposes too, to lessen American influence in the area… didn’t something similar happen back in 2017 when Trump abruptly pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

      The Asian countries tossed overboard ended up re-constellating around China in the aftermath, didn’t they?

      One more thought… if the South Koreans did this after Trump’s people walked out on them, this defense pact must have been under development for a while now… it doesn’t seem to me that you can just leap into an agreement like this on the spur of the moment… that would indicate to me that they’ve had doubts about Trump for a while now…

      • Eureka says:

        Yes, the China-aims part is really important, too, and the first thing I thought of when reading that news was another recent piece on China, re those leaked internal docs (the top replies detail further issues):

        Emily Rauhala: “A remarkable trove of documents detailing Xi’s plans for Xinjiang, obtained by @ChuBailiang and @austinramzy. I’ve followed this for years, but reading it all in print made my blood run cold. [NYT link]”

        It’s basically coming down to strongmen expanding *and isolating* their spheres of influence, to humanity’s detriment.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Kudos to the commenter who compared Morrison to Neidermeyer. Absolutely. The kind of guy who should never have slipped into his army cot in country without looking underneath it for a typical Hawaiian fruit.

  12. weAREallMADhere says:

    I would also be interested to know how Jr., and Eric are in charge of business, yet use most of their time to campaign for their father? Also what do GOP Senators do when they wont legislate& how much (with percs) are they making to not work. Since we are there, how much does the Press Secretary make to not hold press briefings? Killin it at draining that swamp. Ugh

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